tv Newly- Elected Members Discuss HR 1 Anti- Corruption Bill CSPAN January 8, 2019 5:33pm-6:31pm EST
>> we are going to get started. thank everyone for coming. imthe president of end citizens united. after the discussion, we are going to open it up for questions and answers and look forward to your participation during that time. in the 2018 election, we had a wave of candidates campaign on reforming government and making our system work for the people. they were responding to a lack of faith that voters have in our system and anger that voters have that the system works for the big money interest rather than the every day people. with more money flooding into our politics, americans have
connected the dots. they understand that this impacts every aspect of their life, from health care prices, to prescription drugs, to the opioid epidemic, to mass shootings and gun violence and so much more. a handful of wealthy special interest donors control access to our system. that's why we are here today. reform was a wildly popular issue on the campaign trail and washington took notice. there are now 50 members of the house and senate who refuse to take corporate pac money. and 47 members of the incoming class, three-quarters of the new class signed a letter saying the very first item of business should be a comprehensive reform package to reform our government. and we are proud to see that has been introduced as h.r. 1. t is the most sweeping
anti-corruption bill since watergate and the most sweeping anti-corruption bill since the civil war. insight sense united was ar simple, simple mission, to undo the damage caused by the big money in our politics and give the voice back to the every day people. we supported these amazing candidates and supported the efforts to help us get to h.r. 1 today. we are changing the idea of what's possible here in washington. we are lucky to have some of those members here to talk about what they learned on the trail and why h.r. 1 is so critical. joining us today are representative jason crow from colorado, representative delgado, representative golden om maine's 27bd district and representative spanberger.
and it was my pleasure to know them during the campaign and visit their district and talk to their voters and see their ideas of how to put people first. and we are thrilled to have a distinguished moderator. y.c. politics with amy walters, one of the thoughtful journalists in washington and one of my favorite people in the world. she can cut through the noise to see trends as they happen and to see the world as it is without getting caught up in the conventional political narrative. thank you, amy for joining us and thank you to our panelists nd ready to get started. >> thank you for the invitation and thank you to all the new
members. i have been to every one of your districts. some i would not be in certain times of the year. but we'll let that go. i'm talking about new york and maine right here. colorado, i could handle. the other two, no. let's start with h.r. 1 for a second. this is expansive. voting rights, this is campaign finance, this is lobbying, this is voting rights, why do this in rather omprehensive way than having individual bills to make it pass both the house and maybe the senate and get to the president's desk. this is a huge desk. mitch mcconnell doesn't pick it up and becomes symbolic and
becomes something that could go on and become law. here's what we know. voters are looking for big change. they are so fed up with the system. 93% of voters think that are government is working for just a few big interests. 7% think it is working for all americans. don't know who that 7%r though, right. i have been all over this country and talked to these voters and understand that we need massive systemic change that the system is so broken, that those who have power, those who have voices that have access and hurting their day-to-day life. we have seen it in elections,, we have seen these big change elections and voters are saying, i want someone to work for me
and they keep not getting that delivered. and at the same time, the amount of money being spent is going up, and the scandals keep going on and this is about giving our democracy back to people. we need to show them that we are take init seriously. making sure that everyone has the right to vote and able to vote. it is about making sure if you are elected to public office, that you follow the rules and comport to ethics guidelines and about getting big money out of politics and instead of catering catering. y, >> your group is called end citizens united which refers to the supreme court case which ealt with as unregulated money
and superp.a.c.'s, but corporate p.a.c.'s are very transparent. they were did he rived at the so of watergate era candidates to could see where they were getting their money. so why are corporate tax the bad guys if they are doing the transparency and they have the all the regulation and can only give so much money versus going after the citizens united, which is unregulated? >> it is either-or. citizens united is a symbol for the problem facing our country. and it opened this unlimited money into our money and paved the way for more dark money. at we saw in 2018, there was $1.3 billion spent.
in tg 2008, only $143 million spent in all of the elections. 900% increase. >> a lot of them were in these districts supporting these guys. >> sure. i think what most people would say, let the candidates stand toe-to-toe and what they believe in and what their priorities are and give them a fair shot. number two is, voters feel like decisions are being made on behalf of nonsense. corporate pac money is an easy way to say every decision i make in washington is about standing up for you, the voter, and not omeone who gave me $5,000. corporate tax came about when we
had a 100-year ban until citizens you he nighted came about and it was a way to get around it as well. corporations have had an outside influence in washington, d.c.,, but this isn't about one group but how to give the power back to the people. >> do you decide it for the candidates? the candidates decide it? arbiters decide it? pac associated with an industry? >> good question. the f.e.c., you have to file a form. and what percent of all pax define themselves as corporate? > i don't.
>> comprehensive reform package should be the first item on the agenda. >> there are 235 members? that's a nice number, but a small percent. is your goal to get to every democrat? what's the 20-20 vision for you on this? our goal is to continue to push the matter. and there are lots of ways for every individual to show they are a leader on this issue and for the democratic caucus to show we are going to lead on
this issue. our ultimate goal, we want to do away with citizens united and transform the system. this is changing washington. this narrative. not taking corporate pac money. so we'll keep pushing it. democratic nk a nominee for president could take corporate pac money? that will be a harder one, too. many of them said they won't. we don't think they should have a candidate superpac and this should be empowering the people. they can. over 50% of donations that came into democratic candidates came from small dollar donors. we are transforming the way that campaigns are funded. no longer the campaigns of 10 years ago. >> thinking about where this
goes and just thinking about beto o'rourke, everybody's favorite example who was the grassroots candidate. and he raises millions and millions of dollars, $80 million and set the new standard for what you could raise as a quote, unquote, candidate coming onto the national scene and yet we have seen some liberal groups attacking him for signing on to a no-fossil fuel money pledge, but getting a whole bunch of checks from people who work in industry. fuel the concern that you may have of the progressive community,
democratic community kind of eating their own. who is the pureist of pure and if you don't meet x standard you will be attacked for not living up to the expectations. > such a big question. first, i think there has always been this -- every cycle there has been we can't raise this much as x person did. 2018, it was beto. 2016, bernie sanders. and those are great examples because they have shown us the way. but every single person up here on this panel raised incredible money from small dollar donor. and their ability and the way
that they campaigned and that wasn't unique to these tour but saw it in other candidates. this is no longer reverse. hat we know is that by not taking -- by showing bold leadership, you are rewarded by small dollar donor. ot taking corporate money or doing the full beto, that inspires people to get behind you because they feel they are like part of a movement. and the other thing i would say, where we try to keep the track is where the democratic caucus is at and where the republican caucus is at. mitch mcconnell's idea that it doesn't matter to voters is wrong. it does. it was the number one issue to
independents and post-election polling and we have seen it time and time again. where we hope to keep the contrast, democrats are trying to fight a rigid system and the republicans are trying to add more dark money to it. >> that's your hope where it ends? >> that's our hope. we have these amazing leaders here on this stage in the house and the senate and i'm about people challenging to find ways to change the system. there is a difference between that and attacking people and doing a purity test and we are not sure where it ends up. but we will continue to push the bar, too. >> the first question, which is how often actually come up on the campaign trail? we know for years, in polling,
we asked voters and said it is really important to me. notould hear voters say i'm taking money from lobbyists. voters think it's important but they didn't vote on that issue. so what did you see when you were on the campaign trail. what changed between five years ago. do you want to start? >> i'm happy to start. i was a first-time candidate and . d never run before i was a first-time candidate. my wife and i were thinking about whether to do this and made a couple of promises and not be afraid to lead on important issues and we were going to think big, we weren't
going to be ok with small changes in the status ". i declared in april of 2017 and being a first-time candidate i was a relatively unknown and people said who are you again? i had to show up everywhere. every event that i knew about, i was there, whether i was invited or not. by the end of the campaign, we had either attended or hosted close to 400 campaign events. but from april of 20717 until september of 2017 when i signed on or took the no-corporate pac pledge, what i was encountering was that the system was rigid, whether i was knocking on a door out canvassing or attending an event at a church people and people would say you are all the
same. it's all rigid. and my vote doesn't matter. and hearing that over and over again, i couldn't help but think ack to my time in iraq and something similar that i heard when i was in baghdad leading soldiers and i was responsible for a southern sector of baghdad and there was an issue with one of the community leaders and i said, why don't you go to the local judge and he said, well, why? the system is rigid. i won't get any response. and i just thought about that. and i thought we are better than this. i said this is the way the community feels and they feel that way for a good reason. we decided we have to go to the root of the problem and think big and have to change the system.
>> i would say there is a gut feeling that i think most americans are struggling through right now that is about the fact that the system is not responsive to the will of the people. the majority will. and that feeling sometimes has a difficult way about being articulated and hard to always identify it particularly in the political stage. i think what was unique about what happened the last years, there were a couple of issues that crystalized. you know that these issues are the best exhibit, health care. when you have a clear desire on the part of most americans to figure out how to solve the
crisis. broad consensus on this and despite that fact, the attempt or the folks in control attempt to take health care away, that is a blatant example of the broken reality. when the people say time and time again, we have to share in our prosperity and instead of figuring out how to deal with the inqualities, 2/3 of the people living paycheck-to-paycheck and 80% of us sharing 10% of the wealth and the answer to that is a tax bill that the vast majority of the benefits to the top 1%. another clear example of the will of the people being broken. >> republican tax bill helped ou to make the case.
mr. delgado: not just make the case but make it in a way where people understand in their guts and their hearts that something is feeling it. when you feel the loss of health care and you are not being heard and how it is manifesting itself, leadership is about making that connection and making it as clear as day. >> what i heard during the campaign trail. people saying things like, we can't tackle health care or climate change. you hear that so many times on the campaign trail and what it boils down to, people are losing faith that their government can work with them to solve these difficult problems that we have. and people identify that with
money and trace it back to who as the most money. mr. golden: we can agree it's the corporations that have the most money and creates this imbalance which is why we made a decision we are not going to take corporate pac money. over the weekend, i had a staff retreat and flew down people from maine and we started working on simple things for our office, like a mission statement and at the end of the day. at its heart, we wanted to say, we are here to work and restore people's faith in their democracy. when you were asking why are we doing h.r. 1, maybe the whole thing can't move, but i think it is important to have it all
together to show people that we are here to restore your faith and democracy in depoft and fight for it. we may not be able to pass every provision but hopefully push through important pieces. and i think at the end of the dollar's about the small issue. it's about how i got to spend my time as a candidate. 85,000 contributions less than $200, if you want to define it. $1.5 million raised. there are some people that are upset to hear about this and frankly i don't care. i didn't make any call after labor day in this campaign. >> did people know that? [laughter] mr. golden: the more people have
faith that they can give five bucks or 25 bucks, our average was $18. the money will follow the money. and the difference it made for me. and meeting my constituents and that's how i would like to continue to operate. >> your question was interesting, is this an issue that people vote on and some people say yes, some people don't know. it is actually the trust. and do they trust you, do voters trust you. people would ask me a question about prescription drug prices r the n.r.a. or this company that isn't invested in renewable energy and when you would have
this conversation. spabspash they didn't believe change could be made because of the money. and to be able to say, i believe that will we should be working on these issues that are so vitally important to people across our district, across this district and i'm working for you, having that conversation with the person who doesn't realize that campaign finance reform doesn't know what is in d.c. in the past few years. i'm sure this is an issue, but what might have been an issue, we as candidates were saying, i'm hearing you and not trusting that we will be able to find a solution is to recognize this is a problem. advocate for campaign finance
reform and work to restore that trust. actually that not taking and i think not taking that money is a good stance. i want to be able to sit down with any business in my district that is an employer, that has a vested interest in what i'm doing, what i'm working on, that employers, businesses that provide services within our district, be they tiny or huge, and so to remove discussions about whether or not they're going to contribute to me from any discussion i think is vitally important. because i never want a small business to say, i couldn't get time with her because i wasn't writing a check. and i also want to make sure that when i sit down and listen to the huge businesses and the concerns that they have, i want to have that conversation because their success means the ability of their employees across my district to bring home a paycheck, have a good life, and be contributing members of in -- in our community. that's why those relations are
important. i need to have strong relationships in order to best serve the community and not because there's some sort of outside motivation. removing that from the discussion is helpful not just for the types of relations i can develop, but also ensure that voters know that those relationships are built because they're important to my ability to serve the larger community. amy: you all brought up the word faith or trust somewhere in your conversation. i know in the many ads i watched of yours over the campaign there was talk about fixing the broken system, etc. now you're here. and the system is broken. we don't have government functioning. does that make it that much harder then for you all to make your case? which is you're here, obviously you weren't here when the vote happened. but you're here now. what is your job now, to do, to
fix what looks i think to many voters like a continuation of a dysfunctional system? >> i'm happy to jump in. i think part of the answer, though, lies in the line in all of our answers. it's clear based on our answers, as least when i was listening, each of us made ourselves incredibly access to be our constituents. would-be constituents. we were out there engaging. we were knocking on doors and hosting, doing town halls. i can't tell you how many times i would go to a town in my district and be told, this is the first time anybody in elected office in d.c. has come here. mr. delgado: so there's a built-in level of trust that i think each of us probably spent a lot of time working on. understanding that we were about to walk into a rather difficult situation. and under that we would not be able to control every piece of what goes on in d.c. but what we can control is how we engage our constituents.
what we can control is giving them a sense that we are truly accountable to them. whether it's through the exchange on the ground or whether it's making sure we have great case work happening. it's making it local. super, super local. now, within d.c., obviously you try to be as reasonable and as rational as possible. fact-based and evidence-based as possible. you try to find common ground. you look across the aisle, do your work, you're patient, you're thorough, you're diligent. and you are steadfast. with the understanding that you can't control everything. in this space. and always being mindful of what you can do at home. amy: you're talking to folks in your district, i'm assuming this week you talked to them about the shutdown. what are they telling you to do? what do they want from you? anyone. >> i think what they want us to do is do the best that we can to make this place function a little bit.
for instance, coming from maine, i've got the senior center -- senator from maine who is up there in the senate saying, why don't we pass these bills and open up the government? why are we going hold this issue, all of these funding bills hostage, over this one issue. golden state warriors let's get government open and then -- mr. golden: let's get the government open and then deal with these issues. we trieding to move all of these packages together last week, now we're going to start moving one at a time. we're saying, let's get government back open and working. to me it's not necessarily a complete rejection of this discussion of border security. let's first put the priority on making -- amy: are they blaming someone specifically, whether it's congress or the president? mr. golden: i've been through a overnment shutdown before.
there comes a point in time where people just want this problem to be fixed. find a solution. get it working again. that's what our responsibility is. >> representing a district in virginia with thousands of federal employees, a former federal employee myself, who i also worked in national security, i'm a former c.i.a. officer, so a lot of this discussion of putting the very function of government and holding it hostage for a discussion relationed to security along our southern border, for me is a really challenging thing to watch. mr. spano: when we have gotten, and we have gotten many constituent calls and -- mr. spanberger: when we have gotten and we have gotten many constituent calls. some people are blaming the democrats and republicans and president. but at the end of the day, if you take a step back, it is an issue where once again those who have been elected to serve these
communities are the ones on the book, are the ones being blamed. and rightly so. wherever anyone in the audience describes that blame, that blame lies in the fact that we have elected representation in ashington. that is willing to use the salaries of federal employees as a bargaining chip to discuss something else. i think when we talk about trust and the faringt that people have you know, it's the -- faith that people have. you know, it's the ability in my district, we had a woman tell us that she luckily is employed outside of the federal government and she's changed her retirement allocation so that when she gets her paycheck there's a few dollars more. we have people who are saying, i just don't know how we're going to keep the heat on and feed our children. we live off of one salary and it's a federal salary. if we don't get it, i don't know what we're going to do. yet we're relying on federal employees, we're relying on t.s.a. officers, we're relying on f.b.i. agents and c.i.a. officers overseas and i was once one of them, to keep us safe
without receiving their pay tchecks -- paychecks. so the fact that for voters, whether they're impacted directly by the shutdown or not, to see this level of dysfunction they blame washington. i think it's one more chance for us to say, strong and reasonable and rational way, this is what's not working. this is why we're here. this is what we want to be a part of changing. we can't do it overnight. but every time we stand up and say this can't be how business is done, we want to be a part of changing it, every step we take in the right direction, that's how large scale change occurs. >> my voters just want people to stop playing political games. is what they want. i represent a community that has about 40% unaffiliated voters. these are folks who don't view the world through the ideological lens of republicans or democrats and they think about an issue, they don't say, well, what do the democrats think about it, what do the republicans think about it?
they just look at the issue and they want it to be fixed. mr. crow: they don't care who fixes it. so from my perspective, it's about getting something done. i think that's what we've been doing the last -- less than a week. we passed some bills to try to get it going. to resolve this. these aren't political bills. these are things that people in the senate have already voted on. overwhelmingly. these aren't the things that we would have probably done if we were to write a bill from scratch that we would have done, but these are things i think will solve the problem, will compromise and get things moving again. and it's certainly what my voters are asking for. amy: so most new classes come in with this same level of enthusiasm. and optimism. that they can change what washington -- washington isn't going to change them. i'm going to sleep in my office, i'm not going to bring my family here. i'm going to go to every single town hall meeting. but at some point they get labeled an insider.
so, how are you working to make sure that you don't lose that connection that you had as a candidate once you become part of washington? and many of you labeled your opponents as part of the problem. right in they were insiders. they went washington. you guys are now washington. mr. crow: a lot of people do say that. they say, welcome to washington. this class is great. they have a lot of great ideas. but just give it time. right? amy: right. you're going to -- [inaudible] -- mr. crow: i think one of the things they don't realize, this class is fundamentally different not just because of its size, but for who we are. we come from different backgrounds than you've seen in the past. we're not career politicians. we've built businesses, we've served in the c.i.a. the marine corps. community advocates. parents. we are transformative by our size, but also equaltatively who we are and what we have done in our background.
our moral compass is guided by that background. and those life experiences. and when i think about the hard days ahead and none of us are naive in thinking this is going to be easy, right? we're mindful of the very real challenges that lie ahead. but we're here for different reasons, to achieve different things. and for me that's my moral compass. mr. golden: there were times in my primary where i was labeled the insider because i was in government. i don't think most people back home think about this strictly as insider or outsider, strictly in terms of years spent doing this. it's about whether or not you're behaving along with the status quo, which they don't like. and that is, i think, at its core what being an insider is to them. so i think this is something you have to prove every single day. you have to keep proving it. that you're here to fight for change. that you're going to lead by chample -- example.
you asked, how are we going change this whole system, which is one for sitting up here, and i don't know that we can just change washington, we've been here since thursday. amy: i'll ask the question that i know you get asked all the time. i'm sure you all get asked about this as well. it's very washington question. hich is, that was fantastic, all these small donors came out and gave you money. that's great. good for you. it's really cute. but you know what, 2020, it's going to be different. you're not going to be focusing just on the house, we have pat al campaign -- presidential campaign. donors are going to be pulled in the love different directions and you're not going to be new anymore. you're going to be an incumbent. you're not the shiny object anymore. so, good luck raising $7 million, $4 million, $5 million
like you did when you first ran. eventually you're just going to have to accept the fact that the money that makes the world go around is coming from here and that the small donor pool is very fickle. so, who wants to answer that? [laughter] it's like you guys have heard this question before. >> you also didn't include the, you know, i'm just worried about you. [laughter] i know a lot of you have read stories. amy: you were approached by senior members saying, listen, this is great, but i'm going to give you some advice. right? did you get approached by members? >> i've gotten approached by a whole lot of people who are very worried about me. [laughter] ms. spanberger: as it relates to my fundraising. you know, speaking for myself, i
entered this race without a network. my father's career federal agency, -- agent, my mother's a nurse. i'm a former c.i.a. officer, i worked undercover, so the majority of my colleagues can't be showing up on my report. i didn't know how i was going to raise the money in the first place. certainly there were no corporate p.a.c.'s or anyone else new yorking on the doors -- knocking on the doors. but we made it woveraget and i made it work much like antonio was saying, or maybe it was jason, and we got out and just in the community and we did event after event. and people gave $20 and people gave $100. and then they came to another event and they gave another $100. because it goes back to that trust. they decided to believe in me as a candidate. and i know 2018 was an extraordinary year, we had so much media coverage, so much excitement about the midterm elections overall. but it wasn't like the money just rained down into our races. we worked hard to connect with people and to say, i am working every sickle day because --
single day because this is what i believe in. if you believe in me, too can you donate some money, can you knock on doors, can you be a part of this? so when we got so much excitement and such a connection with voters, it was because they saw that we wanted them to trust us and believe in us, because we wanted to work for them. and so, yes, while we were, many of us, kind of shiny objects in the national media or the stories or those story, and people did come out to support us, the bottom line is, it is now up to the voters to decide what they want in 2020. i have faith and maybe it's optimistic, i'm not sure, that the voters will say, you know, we did this incredible thing in 2018, we brought in a wave of candidates who were different, who were excited, who excited me for the first time in years. potentially. with some of our districts where we flipped them for years. and i want that again. if they want to keep us in our seats, if they want to keep having these shifts in our political system, then i believe
that the voters will engage and for those who engaged by knocking doors, they'll do it again. and for those whone gauged by donating dollars, they'll do it again. but it's up to us to continue working like we did along the campaign trail, to continue establishing that trust. be it through constituent services, be it through being out in the community, having town halls, and don't think it was a one-time blip on the radar. i think it's now up to us to make sure that this pivot that we saw in 2018 is something we can maintain. and when people think about what their representation is, they know that they have a piece of it and whether they can give $5 or they can knock 50 doors, or just tell a friend, you know, please make sure, get excited about this candidate, that that's how we change our political system. and i believe we can do it again. so it's for that reason i'm not so worried. mr. delgado: i would add, there's a lot of power in people.
and what i think the midterms demonstrated is that when the people engage, in any way, shape or form, anything can happen. you can make history. both on a district level and on a national level. and so what i often get asked this question at town halls, i would push the questioner and the group and challenge the group and say, no amount of money can erase that vote. when you get out there and vote, that's going to be counted. that's going to be counted. all we have to do is keep voting. just keep building on that. keep working. don't give up that. keep voting. and if you keep building upon that, and i think hopefully we turned a corner in the midterms, around this concept that, if we just dig in and do the work, doesn't mean money is not going to have a role to play. it does.
there's a practical reality to it. but the outside impact. the outside influence of money is correlated with how little people do. if people aren't doing a lot, then it gives that type of power, more power. and you can offset that considerably when, as a community, as an individual, you really claim your right and you act upon it. and i think that's what we saw. it's incumbent upon the folks in congress to continue to build off of that and hold themselves accountable and to feed the beast, if you will. continue to get back out there and say, i'm here with you again and not just show up when it's time to ask for their vote. but to show up every single day over the course of two years to say, i'm here with you. i'm working with you. what can i do for you? not just ask for something from them. amy: congressman crow, i'm going to pick on you because i can. you're closer to me. also i know -- i don't know if it was actually the most outside spending, but it might have been up there in the top, certainly
in the number of groups that were on the air in denver. i'm wondering what this tells us about money in politics. many of them, as i said, were up either supporting you or attacking your opponent. having no corporate money pledge or having small donors didn't change the fact that these campaigns were still incredibly expensive. they were still incredibly negative in many ways. and that these outside groups that supported you, they may not be corporate, but they're special interests. whether they are -- it's not the n.r.a. but it's groups that are opposed that have positions different than the n.r.a. or it's emily's list or it's labor. can you help us understand what is different about that? why is it ok for groups that, they don't have corporate in their name, maybe they're not billionaires, super p.a.c. donors, but they are -- they have interests that they would
like to you take up in congress and they're running ads on your behalf. how does that -- how is that different, how has that changed the system? mr. crow: some of this goes to what tiffany was talking about earlier. we're kind of dealing with a couple of different levels of the issue, the problem, if you will. there are things i can directly control as a candidate, decisions that i can make to lead by example. i learned in the military that the starting point of leadership is leadership by example. the things that i can just say i'm going to start to do to force the change from day one. like take the no corporate p.a.c. money pledge. other things require more structural change like ending citizens united and going at a higher level of saying, we need a movement, a national movement, and as leaders we need to build and support the national movement that creates the pressure and the conditions that change those larger structural issues. and i did that and everybody else on the platform did that.
by using the bully pulpit. using the voices that we had on the campaign. i repeatedly called on my opponent during the campaign to enter into a mutual pact to swear off that independent money. he repeatedly refused to do it. amy: you said, all of you groups, don't come in. mr. crow: that was my proposal to him. let's just get out there, make our case to the community, just you and me, and be judged on the merits of our ideas and how we're going to vote and what we'll do in washington. that was what i said. multiple occasions. and he refused to do that. so that leadership by example, showing that changing the system is one of the most powerful tools we have and certainly everybody else up here did the same. amy: some organizations should really try to do something about that. [laughter] r. crow: great idea. mr. golden: to piggyback on this, it's important but it's
also that d.c. skepticism. back home in my local paper and editorial board today, said, gee, you know, jared raised all this money but he's talking about getting money out of politics. what's the rub here? look, i don't want to attack my opponent for the fact that outside spending came in against me and he couldn't do anything about it. vice versa. outside spending came in and supported me, attacked him. i couldn't do anything about that. what i do know is we can actually legislate change. here's an example. in my primary, with all this pressure that's out there, people are angry about this, they're tired of it. there's a certain amount of pain that can be brought to corporations or organizations or big don'ters who are trying to influence the outcome of elections. and here's the living proof. in my primary, there's 501-c-4 that was running issue ads. 90% of the tv ads were about one of my opponents. and then at very end it said, call the trump administration and tell them to leave a national monument alone.
that's the 10% that was about an issue. it was a thinly veiled way to fund about $1 million worth of tv ads into a race. but lo and behold, on the 31st day before the election, the ads stopped. why? because there's a law in place that says on that 30th day from the election they would have had to disclose who their donors are and they didn't want the public to know who their donors are. super p.a.c.s don't have that same requirement. there's a change right there. require full disclosure and some of this money will disappear. amy: i want to open this up for any questions. i saw somebody with a microphone . so, yes. yeah. right there. questioner: [inaudible] -- i'm a voter in washington, d.c. [laughter] where we have -- [applause] we have very strong campaign finance reform that just passed
our local council. so when we become a state, it's likely that our senators would be big advocates for the kind of things you're promoting. statehood has a very strong element in h.r. 1. which is fantastic. we worked hard for that. what the four of you all could do to advance this is to sign on as co-sponsors for h.r. 51. we want to be the 51st state. last session we had 90% of the house democrats co-sponsor. are you ready to give an amen now? [laughter] ms. spanberger: amen. [laughter] questioner: [inaudible] mr. golden: i was just reading about this today. i want to give d.c. props, they
have clean elections, public funding option for citizens and for candidates. it's a great thing. questioner: thank you. you'll be hearing for from us. [laughter] questioner: hi. i've been active in democratic politics since before all of you were born. i worked with hubert humphrey in 1973 on campaign finance reform. i've also been a lobbyist and involved in corporate p.a.c.'s. i'm listening to you. i think the honest answer to what the problem with p.a.c.'s is is appearance. when you talk about, jared, corporate money, corporate money is not going into corporate pac -- p.a.c.'s up. know that. it's individual contributions. abe gale, when you're talking about discriminating against big or small companies, ewe doe would do that anyway. you care about the small one, but you care about the one with thousands of employees rather than dozens. so it would be kind of helpful, and you just talked at the end, ongressman crow, about how, or
jared, about these independent expenditures. it goes to the initial question. that's the problem here. more so -- you could make a choice not to meet with people who represent corporate p.a.c.'s or corporations whether they have p.a.c.'s or not. i think the honest answer to what the problem with corporate p.a.c.'s is, sp mels bad to the public who doesn't really -- it mels -- smell bad to the public who doesn't really know, it doesn't say the difference between the companies. so, again, i'm happy to have an answer. but i would think that's the honest answer to what the problem with corporate p.a.c.'s is and your brigger problem is this dark money which is, if you don't get that, we still have problems. ms. spanberger: that would be great if we were funding corporate p.a.c.'s through small donor dollars. but what we know is that, number one, while corporations can't
funnel money directly to the p.a.c. to give to candidates, they can support all of the operational expenses for it and all of the administrative expenses and all of the fundraising expenses and the expenses to the islands and to verizon center and all the other places that we know happens. ms. muller: it's not entirely accurate to say no corporate money supports this because it actually supplements it. number, two as you know, being involved in them, corporate p.a.c.'s are prohibited from asking everyday employees to give to the corporate p.a.c.'s except for twice a year. they're restricted to actually like the shareholder executives and about 98% of the money from most of these corporate p.a.c.'s is coming from those folks. i completely understand, but the data just doesn't always prove that out either. ms. spanberger: i come from virginia it. looks like our governer is making forward movement on campaign financial reform within
our state but virginia has terrible campaign finance laws. when i started campaigning in july of 2017, it was right in advance of the 2017 elections. and i would have people, because it was always in the news, who was giving money here, who was giving money there, and who -- the who being companies. i would walk into these meet and greets and living rooms and dining rooms and people would say, are you taking money from this company or this company? and at first i would start to say, well, the corporate tax are different from what happens at the state level. people choose to give money to the corporate p.a.c.'s, it's a different things, it's disclosed. and now all of a sudden you're justifying something that people don't understand. while i, even in talking about not taking corporate p.a.c. money, say it is not an anti-business stance, i am not offended by the concept of corporate p.a.c. money existing, what i am reacting to is the
fact that people's per essential in and of itself -- perception in and of itself is there's a lack of trust. there's something they don't fully understand. people are businessy. they don't have the time or -- busy. they don't have the time or the willingness, and i recognize that, to understand how is virginia's state campaign finance law that's all over the newspapers different from federal campaign law. in virginia there aren't limits and here you've got corporate p.a.c. limits, even if i take money from a corporate p.a.c. it's limited. i reflected on the oldest of three daughters, when we were kids i was always getting in trouble for something related to my younger sisters. i would say, that's not what happened. this is what i did. my middle sister would say, she did this or she did that. and i remember this lesson always. my mother would say, her perception is her reality. and so when a voter believes that a $5,000 check is enough to get you to vote in a way that is somehow against their interest, i don't think that's true in many cases, but if that's their
perception, that goes back to this whole conversation about trust. for know say, you know, i want to sit down with this company, i'm going sit down with this company, i'm going to maybe vote away that this -- vote a way that this voter may not like, but you will know that i didn't do it because of a campaign contribution. even though i wouldn't likely have -- because it's that perception that becomes a reality. and so as we're trying to take baby steps toward rebuilding trust with voters, if this is one way that i can do it, to me that's a powerful first step for me to take. >> i'll add to that. there's also a very real access issue here. these p.a.c.'s aren't taking checks and putting them in envelopes and putting a first-class stamp on them and dropping them in the mailbox on the corner of their block. mr. crow: right? over 70% of people in colorado are employed by small and medium sized businesses. these aren't businesses that
have p.a.c.'s. and all of our time is very limited. we have limited time. there's access granted based on contributions in this town. so i want my time to be spent -- [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] >> as we told you, we'll take you live to the floor of the house now for a couple of votes. following order. motion to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 269 by the yeas and nays. and h.r. 251 by the yeas and nays and agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal if ordered. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. the unfinished business is the vote of the motion of the the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, to suspend the rules and pass h.r.